Website of the Week (Week 94)

Madeon

I had never heard of Madeon (apologies) – a French songwriter, producer, musician and DJ – until I discovered this website. Madeon’s Adventure Machine is a perfect example of how sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. With the right combination of market research, a clear understanding of your demographic and a creative approach, you’re armed with all the elements needed to create a very successful campaign.

Created as an interactive promotional tool prior to the launch of his debut album ‘Adventure’, the website was inspired by a viral video that Madeon had previously posted, where he remixed his favourite tracks on a Novation Launchpad. As a result, the video directly influenced this exciting and engaging piece of social digital design.

When landing on the website, the user is presented with a formulated and semi-transparent diamond structure, a definitive symbol of creation and unity, and one which encompasses the purpose of the website perfectly. This in turn, becomes the user’s main area of navigation and interaction, and is subdivided into a diamond grid, which is further categorised into three coloured groups.

The diamond overlays a juxtaposing and more organic landscape of blue sky and a red barren desert, with triangular and almost other-worldly mountainous landforms piercing through the flatness in the distance. The background styling harks back to the warming retro era of LP covers from the likes of Pink Floyd and U2, with its selective colour filter, gradients and textured appearance, coupled with the retro Bauhaus-esque typeface associated with Madeon’s logo.

It’s all very intriguing and it’s at this point in the user’s journey where they discover the purpose and the capability of the website, through a clear set of step-by-step instructions. After going through these, which explain what each section controls, you are unleashed to ‘go and create music’. Within the space of 30 seconds, I’m being placed in the shoes of the artist and creating music, albeit badly! It soon becomes an addictive process, as I experiment with selecting the various combinations of music samples taken from the forthcoming album, in the hope that I produce a mix worth listening to.

This is where the website’s real selling point comes to the forefront of the marketing campaign. It gives users the ability to share their own mixes via social media, with other like-minded and engaged fans, but more importantly creates a solid platform to promote the sound of the album ahead of release – reaching the globally dispersed fanbase who are ‘not traditional music purchasers’.

The remaining functionality of the site is extremely simple with only a few key ‘call to action’ buttons, echoing the same minimal diamond shape that appears on this single page website. Social links and ‘share’ facilities make it easy to promote the album, whilst links to retail platforms enable users to purchase the album and find out upcoming tour dates.

The addition of a simple equaliser which sits either side of the main navigation and changes depending on the combination of drums, base and melody chosen, is a nice touch and adds further depth to the overall experience.

The beauty of this website is that it works across all digital platforms and is even compatible with the Novation Launchpad. It taps into the mindset and behavioural characteristics of the fans, giving them the tool to create mixes anywhere, based on the excerpts from his album through this experimental web audio technique.

Since its release, the website has won many awards and special recognition by Google, as being ‘a great example of an innovative mobile experience’. Within the first week, the site was visited 320,000 times, with 7.5 million samples played. After 5 months, 24.3 million samples had been previewed, 52,000 clicks had been driven to purchase or streaming, and 22,000 to view tour dates.

With figures as impressive as that, this website proves that word of mouth is still king, and by using your fans’ voices they in turn become your biggest advocate and marketing tool to reach those that may not initially be on the radar. As a result of my experimenting and ‘mashing’, I found myself wanting to listen to the tracks in full and find out more about the artist; and it’s because of the creativity of this website that it’s gained another follower.

All in all, mission accomplished! Go and try it for yourself… madeon.fr/adventuremachine